Bright colors in the middle of winter

I’ve been wanting to talk for days about Educating Alice’s post about Christo and Jeanne Claude’s The Gates in Central Park. At the time, Monica took her class on a series of field trips to the gates, and she includes some magical photos in her post. They’re the perfect pictures to cheer you up when the weather is cold!

I was still living in Arizona when The Gates were here and, even on the other side of the country, I was hearing and reading stories about how jaded New Yorkers were poking fun at the art installment. Snickering at it*. All of it I gave little attention to because I was living in Arizona…and I had never even been to NYC at that point. Monica’s post let me see how much I was missing, and it reminded me of the importance of art, creativity, and beauty in children’s lives. I only wish my daughter had seen The Gates – she would have loved it.

Truly, I can’t put my finger on why I feel so inspired by Monica’s story and her photos. Perhaps it’s because I just finished ranting about the deprofessionalization of libraries. Perhaps because I’m wintered out. Perhaps it’s because I feel like my daughter’s homework consists mainly of drilling her in “math facts” and leveled reading. Perhaps because it reminded that I wasn’t looking through the eyes of a child enough.

The glorious thing, though, is that sometimes even New Yorkers – and, especially, the children growing up here – can be inspired by bright swaths of orange in the middle of a gray winter. I can hardly wait to read Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan's Christo and Jeanne Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond!

Thanks to Monica at Educating Alice!

* See this blog dedicated to The Gates.


Monica Edinger said...


Thank you for posting about this too. It was funny; the parents of my students were mixed about The Gates, but their kids all totally adored it. Usually, kids take their parents' side on everything*, but not when it came to The Gates!

*A parent told me her son burst into to tears when she took him into the voting booth and voted for Hilary --- he evidently was wild for Obama.

Unknown said...

No, thank you for the post, Monica! It just put me in such a good place mentally and emotionally. Not to mention that your photos made me feel like I was actually there and had experienced the whole thing for myself.

P.S. Great story - my daughter wants Hillary to win "because she's a girl." Of course. It all comes down to that when you're 6!

babs said...

I liked the Gates too. I was in AZ when it happened and thought it was cool. My Dad took pics of it when he was in the City and sent them to me. They are very cool. I have been to NYC.

I think I got to your blog from grumpator, though am not certain.